No hay pan para tanto chorizo

I like to participate on Reddit (/r/Spanish) because it gives me the chance to help people around the world who are learning Spanish. It makes me feel just a little young and cool. And it also helps me improve my own Spanish.

The latest Spanish expression I picked up on Reddit is this post’s title: “No hay pan para tanto chorizo”. This translates literally as ‘there isn’t enough bread for all that sausage’:

foto de José Andrés,

You can guess the expression’s figurative meaning if you do a Google search, finding images like those below. (I recommend that you do this search yourself, too, to see the variety of images.)


[The use of pa instead of para in the poster on the right, by the way, is a common abbreviation in casual speech that is often reflected in informal writing, such as music lyrics and texting.]


[I love the way the cigar, monocle, and top hat transform the sausage on the left into a “fat cat”.]

Chorizo is a pork sausage, but has the secondary meaning of “crook, thief” (who knew?). Pan ‘bread’ can be used, as in English, with the metaphorical meaning of “daily sustenance”. As one Redditor explained, when you put these meanings together you get something like “The thieves (corrupt politicians) are taking away our food and money”. It is therefore a popular slogan to use in political demonstrations.

The English expression “pork barrel politics” feels somewhat related, although the Spanish inclusion of pan brings it home to the average Joe.

2 thoughts on “No hay pan para tanto chorizo

  1. Fernando

    Me gustaría comentar el origen del significado de chorizo como ladrón. Procede de la India, de la palábra védica चोर pronunciada /tsora/ (ladrón), que evoluciona a través de los prakrit medievales a “choro” (ladrón) y entra en España con el “caló” (lengua romaní de los gitanos de la Península Ibérica) y así figura en la RAE, con ese significado en el sustantivo “choro” (ladrón) y “chorar” (robar). En su forma diminutiva “chori” pasa a la jerga “cheli” (el equivalente madrileño del Cockney londinense) donde humorísticamente se asocia fonéticamente a “chorizo” (sausage) palabra de origen prerromano, íbera o vasca, que nada tenía que ver. La RAE admite “chorizo” (ladrón) y “chorizar” (robar)

    A Argentina y Chile no solo llega el pan con chorizo con el nombre de “choripan”, sino también la palabra choro (ladrón) a través de la terminología policial, desde donde pasa a la calle como “chorro” (ladrón) y como “motochorro”, ladrones especializados en asaltos desde motocicletas.


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